Executive Leader Named for New Agua Caliente Casino, Slated to Open in Fall 2020

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, which operates two other casinos in the Coachella Valley, is gearing up for the opening of its third gaming venue in Cathedral City, California.

The new casino is rising along Highway 111, a main drag that links Palm Springs to cities east. 

Agua Caliente Casinos has transitioned its executive team to lead the new venture. 

Michael J. Facenda, who has served as the Vice President of Marketing for Agua Caliente Casinos for nearly two years, has been promoted to Senior Vice President and General Manager of Agua Caliente Casino Cathedral City, forecasted to open this fall. 

“Michael has been an integral part of some of the organization’s biggest endeavors over the last two years such as launching the new ACE Rewards Club, branding and launching some of our biggest renovations including The District, 360 Sports, and Pivat Cigar Lounge just to name a few, and we are excited to see him take his expertise to the next level by running our third casino operation set to open later this year,” said Saverio Scheri III, COO for Agua Caliente Casinos. “In his new role, Michael will oversee all daily operations of the new casino including construction plans, hiring of the new team members, and of course, will be heavily involved in the Cathedral City community. We are looking forward to seeing the success that Michael will bring not only to our beautiful new casino but to the community as a whole,” Scheri added.

Throughout his 30-plus year career, Facenda has held the roles of General Manager, and Vice President of Marketing at various casinos throughout the country focusing on key areas such as advertising, entertainment, branding, public relations, retail promotions, loyalty card and database operations, and quality service management. Facenda also formerly served as Vice President and General Manager of Gaming at Hoosier Park Racing and Casino in Indiana. 

Prior to that, Facenda served as Director of Marketing and then Vice President of Marketing at FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Michigan, where he played a major role in branding and opening the $300 million casino while serving as a member of the executive management team. Facenda also previously worked as Director of Marketing Services for Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa and the Water Club where he participated heavily in the product design, branding and launch of this destination resort that started Atlantic City’s renaissance.

A native of New Jersey, Facenda holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Rowan University.

Groundbreaking on Agua Caliente Casino Cathedral City took place on Monday, November 4, 2019, and the property will sit upon a 12.5-acre lot at East Palm Canyon Drive and Date Palm Drive. The 100,000 sq. foot building will consist of 29,000 sq. feet of gaming space including 500 slot machines and eight table games. Agua Caliente Casino Cathedral City will also have restaurants, bars, retail, live entertainment, mixed-use space, and tribal government offices.

Cathedral City firefighters will receive a new fire station across the street from the casino with a $5.5 million contribution from the Tribe marking one of many improvements to the area.

Agua Caliente Casino Cathedral City is expected to generate approximately 556 new jobs from both the casino and mixed-use facilities on-site and will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.